Sun's Schwartz taking blog into audio realm

Jonathan Schwartz, the Sun Microsystems president who championed the idea of executive blogs, is trying to stay a step ahead of his competition by adopting a relative novelty called podcasting.

Podcasting broadcasts audio files with widely used blog dissemination technology called Really Simple Syndication (RSS). This method for automatically sending audio content to a subscriber's computer or digital music player is one of several fashionable new trends in the blogging world.

In his March 15 blog, Schwartz said he plans to podcast a Churchill Club panel discussion in which he argues it's possible to make money off a free product.

Schwartz latched onto blogs in an attempt to inject Sun into the conversations of programmers and customers. An added bonus: better communications with his own employees.

Schwartz used early blogs to criticize IBM's Linux strategy or tout software sales strategies. Since then, he's drawn executives from Hewlett-Packard and Red Hat into his debates.

Schwartz has successfully encouraged numerous Sun employees to write their own blogs. But some have yet to go the full monty: John Fowler, the executive vice president in charge of Sun's x86 servers, has a blog that's only available to Sun employees.

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